Two senior Angolan diplomats were fired this week for attending a gala dinner hosted by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to celebrate the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
Manuel Augusto Jao Diogo Fortunato – a senior adviser and the number 2 figure in the Angolan Embassy in Tel Aviv – attended the 13 May event with the approval of Angola’s Director for African, Middle East and Regional Organizations, Joaquim do Espírito Santo.
Angolan media reports that on Monday, Angola’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Manuel Augusto, fired Fortunato and Santo for “failing to comply with procedures and harming Angola’s good reputation.”
Fortunato was one of twelve envoys from African countries to participate in the event. Other African countries that indicated they would attend were: Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Zambia, Tanzania, Nigeria, Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Nigeria denied that its representative attended the gala dinner.
Those African nations that did attend were heavily criticised for betraying Africa’s legacy of anti-colonialism and undermining the Palestinian liberation struggle.
“Kenneth Kaunda would be quite disappointed,” wrote Nigerian trade unionist and human rights activist, Owei Lakemfa, referring to Zambia’s presence. “Tanzania would make Mwalimu Julius Nyerere turn in his grave that his heirs would be clinking glasses and smiling sheepishly while Israel massacred Palestinians,” he continued.
“We are very disappointed at African countries which had celebrated the declaration of Jerusalem as the official capital city of Israel by the USA. That is the highest form of betrayal because us as Africans should know that colonialism and imperialism have no place in humanity,” Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, told South African media.
“African states have no right to abandon our Palestinian brothers and sisters simply because they have been promised a bowl of beans by the Zionist government. The freedom and dignity of the Palestinian people is worth more,” wrote Tanzanian advocate, Jenerali Ulimwengu.